Ask a Question forum→Staghorn Fern

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Miami, FL
ktt1991
Jun 13, 2020 9:20 AM CST
Hi there,
Could anyone tell me what's wrong with this staghorn? What do I do about it?

I'm very new to keeping plants alive and have been trying to treat them well! It lives indoors in FL- not in direct sunlight but with plenty of it throughout the day. It gets soaked ~1x/week.

Thank you!!
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Jun 13, 2020 10:13 AM CST
Hi ktt1991 Welcome!

Common Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) should never be grown in full sun; they are bright shade loving plants and should be grown in a location of bright, indirect light with good air flow/circulation. Your Staghorn Fern appears to be infested with mealybugs which are common in moist, warm locations like Florida. You can very gently wipe down the fronds with a damp cloth to remove the visible insects but it's likely going to be difficult if not impossible to get any eggs or insects that might be hiding in the the nooks and crannies of the plant. Some people use a spray bottle containing a mix of water and Isopropyl alcohol to kill mealybugs. Years ago I used a brand of spray called Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap that I purchased at Walmart and Home Depot but when I couldn't find that brand locally anymore, I began using Bonide Neem Spray which works great in eradicating many insect pests and I always keep a bottle of it with my gardening supplies. The plant should be thoroughly sprayed and it's likely that it will have to be retreated a week or so later to take care of any additional hidden eggs that may have hatched. When using any spray, it should be done in a shady, well ventilated location.

I just noticed, it appears that you've attached your question and photos to an old thread from 2 years ago, which means that many members may not see your post. I'll call one of our forum moderators, @Australis @Calif_Sue to see if perhaps they can break this off into a thread of it's own, which will allow more members to find it and be able to offer advise.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 13, 2020 10:15 AM CST
Welcome!

It has a bad case of mealybugs. Spray it thoroughly with Insecticidal Soap or rubbing alcohol then wash them off. Mealybugs are really hard to get rid of on staghorn ferns because there's way too many places to hide. You will have to retreat about once a week forever.
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Name: Phil
Lakeland Florida (Zone 9a)
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zeta7
Jun 13, 2020 10:31 AM CST
Hang it outside under a tree, they love the fresh air. And when you eat a nanner,throw the peel on the plant. They love the potassieum. I've got several, thye two big'uns are betterin 20 years old. When it gits big "several years" you livin in florida, you can put bromalaids in the holes and when they bloom it looks like your stag is blooming. The pics are the first year it bloomed, this year it will have a ton of flowers. The plant is prolly 7' across.


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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Jun 13, 2020 12:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

Looks more like whiteflies to me.
https://www.almanac.com/pest/w...
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 13, 2020 1:07 PM CST
ktt1991 didn't mention the insects flying but they could very well be whiteflies, which will take wing and fly around when disturbed.

Here are two articles from our learning library regarding both pests:
Mealybugs: https://garden.org/learn/artic...
Whiteflies: https://garden.org/learn/artic...
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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